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Dozens fall ill from suspected poisoning in east China village

(Xinhua)    11:42, December 04, 2016

HEFEI, Dec. 3  -- Dozens of villagers in east China's Anhui Province have fallen ill with symptoms similar to rodenticide poisoning, but investigators are yet to confirm the cause for their sickness.

Twenty-one people from nine families in Xiaokou Township, Taihe County, had been hospitalized as of Saturday with severe symptoms of poisoning, the county's health department said in a statement.

Another 15 villagers had milder symptoms and were allowed to go home, it said.

The first two cases were reported on Nov. 25, when Liang Guibin and his wife were admitted to hospital with seizures, hematemesis and blood in their urine. Doctors suspected this was a result of consuming rat poison.

The subsequent investigation, however, found no traces of any harmful substance in samples of leftover food and water taken from their home in Maozhuang Village. The couple had not dined out or been exposed to harmful chemicals.

Similar symptoms were reported by many other villagers over the past week.

"My four-year-old son was hospitalized Thursday," said villager Zhang Hongdeng. "The doctor said he had blood clotting problems."

The same problems were reported by Zhang's parents. Zhang, who works in a town 20 km away and is rarely home, showed no such symptoms in the checkup.

The disease prevention and control center in Fuyang City has joined the investigation, and it has taken samples of the villagers' food and water for further lab work.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Du Mingming, Bianji)

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